Microsoft isn't targeting specific countries, but sees software piracy as a worldwide issue that requires the cooperation of local governments and law enforcement agencies, said Bonnie MacNaughton, Microsoft senior attorney.
As part of this effort, Microsoft is providing cybercrime training to law enforcement organizations, with the goal of strengthening intellectual property rights and the rule of law in countries where software piracy has been rampant, she said.
"Pirates operate without borders, which is why it's important to look at the problem globally," said MacNaughton. "We're trying to look at this in a more sophisticated way than we have in the past."
According to the Business Software Alliance, 38 percent of software worldwide is pirated, compared to 20 percent in the U.S. These figures suggest that Microsoft has its work cut out for it, especially in countries where the notion of intellectual property often takes a back seat to raw economic realities.
However, Microsoft has been making progress in some of the world's software piracy hotbeds, said MacNaughton. In Brazil, Microsoft is working effectively with local government to carry out enforcement actions against illegal software resellers, and Microsoft has also had "pretty decent success" fighting piracy in Russia, she noted.
"We're seeing great collaboration within the business community and the government in tackling the issues together," MacNaughton said.
In China, where software piracy has been particularly widespread, Microsoft has resorted to slashing the price of some of its products to give consumers more incentive to buy legal software.
Microsoft has also been aggressive chasing down stateside software pirates, and has filed numerous lawsuits against software resellers for distributing Microsoft products with counterfeit Certificates Of Authenticity.
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